Sep 30, 2011, 12:10 AM EDT
tonight this morning out of Boston.
While Francona’s departure is not certain, it is the likely outcome, in part because he is pressing for a resolution, sources say. He would not be fired; the Red Sox would simply decline their club options on him for 2012 and ’13.
Francona and Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein gave no indication that such a major move was coming during their season-wrapping press conference Thursday afternoon at Boston’s Fenway Park.
But something obviously sparked a change within the past several hours.
Perhaps Francona has his eyes on the White Sox’s vacancy. He did coach in their minor league system for five years, at one point serving as skipper to Michael Jordan during the NBA superstar’s short stint with the Birmingham Barons. Or maybe he’ll be swayed by the Nationals, who seem ready to spend big money.
Then again, maybe this wasn’t Francona’s call. “Red Sox Nation” has been seeking out a scapegoat since the club’s historic collapse went final Wednesday night in Baltimore. And the Boston media has egged that blame game on since the middle of this month. It seems insane to give up on a manager who has played a role in securing two World Series titles in the past eight years. And it’s especially insane for a franchise like the Red Sox, who hadn’t won anything since 1918 before Francona stepped aboard. But these are insane times.
The Red Sox’ sad and frustrating September collapse just shifted gears into the realm of tragedy.
UPDATE, 12:57am: According to White Sox beat writer Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times, it’s Francona who wants out. “He has had his fill of the whole thing,’’ a source told the paper.
- Sandy Alderson is not going to “roll over” for Scott Boras and shut down Matt Harvey 22
- Dodgers are already fed up with 6.56 ERA-pitching, excuse-making Mat Latos 37
- And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights 57
- Bryce Harper walks in all four of his plate appearances, scores four runs 23
- ESPN pulls Curt Schilling off broadcasts for rest of regular season and Wild Card game 140
- David Ortiz is more likely to be boned in Hall of Fame voting for being a DH than for PED stuff 138
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights 74
- The Marlins are going to change everything except their biggest problem this offseason 53
- Sarah Palin sticks up for Curt Schilling, tells ESPN to “stick to sports” (266)
- ESPN pulls Curt Schilling off broadcasts for rest of regular season and Wild Card game (140)
- Matt Williams puts up another strong performance in his quest to get himself fired (107)
- David Ortiz tweets his happiness about the Deflategate decision (100)